Hound Dog Love

A quiet afternoon with a favorite book.

Spending time with another favorite book…

Alas, I am that teacher, the one who makes 7th grade students cry. Not with my rapier wit or sarcasm, tempting as those weapons are. No, I have them read a book about a boy and his beloved dogs, a story told from the heart.

redfern-cover“Why?” students lament. “Why do you make us read this?”  As if I had tortured them or something. From the first pages the story is wonderful, and it pulls readers right in. We never want it to end.

“Because good fiction is powerful,” I tell them. “I want you to understand how a well-written story can reach into the human heart.” I’m the fiction writing teacher. I say stuff like that.

Wilson Rawls published only two books, and it took time for Red Fern to gain popularity. “The best horse doesn’t always win the race,” the Irish say. But now this book is regarded as a must-read for 9 to 14-year-olds. And for grownups too…

A signed copy, found by a teaching friend

A signed copy, given to me by a teaching friend

Red Fern’s setting comes from Rawls’ childhood experiences. He was not well educated–a thing he was embarrassed about–but he sure knew how to tell a story. There’s a lot of wisdom in those pages.

Every year I have students tell me that Where the Red Fern Grows is now their favorite book. If you’re looking for a heart-warming read, why not give this book a try? It’s about a lot more than a boy and his dogs.

Laura Hile (1)

 

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3 thoughts on “Hound Dog Love

  1. ksbeth

    beautiful – I’m so glad you taught them that words are powerful and books are emotional. i’m a kindy teacher and every time i read ‘the giving tree’ i cry in front of my class.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Laura Hile Post author

      I would like to read aloud to my students, because at every age we enjoy a good story. Even adults like read-aloud (audio books). Finding time is the struggle…

      I’m glad you are able to bless your students, ksbeth. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

Why yes, we DO want a piece of your mind. ;-)

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